Greatest Spokane Indian Field Narrows to Four - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Greatest Spokane Indian Field Narrows to Four

The field of eight has narrowed to four in SWX's search to find the Greatest Spokane Indian of All Time. The field of eight has narrowed to four in SWX's search to find the Greatest Spokane Indian of All Time.

SPOKANE, Wash. -- The votes have been counted and the field of eight has dwindled to a semi-final round with a list of four in SWX’s search to find the Greatest Spokane Indian of All Time. Here are your final four contestants and how they got past their opponents in the opening round! Click back on Tuesday, June 3, starting at 9:00 a.m. PDT to cast your vote for these finalists!

No. 1 Steve Garvey vs. No. 8 Hoyt Wilhelm: Winner – Steve Garvey

Hard to argue with Steve Garvey, a 10-time All-Star, 1974 National League MVP and Roberto Clemente award winner—who also happened to be on the 1970 Spokane Indians team that has been called one of the best in minor league history—advancing to the next round. The way he did it though is a little eye-opening, beating out Hoyt Wilhelm by over 80-percent of the votes (80.7 percent to 19.3).

Wilhelm will always be remembered as one of the reasons all-time great Charlie Hough danced a knuckle ball to the plate with the Dodgers and then, ironically enough, the Rangers. He also made the rare move of being a player-coach while he was with the Indians. His Hall-of-Fame career—which included a no-hitter and pitching with one of the lowest earned run averages of all-time until he was almost 50—made it impossible to leave him off a final-eight list. But meeting Garvey in the first round proved to be too much for the knuckler to overcome.

No. 2 Ian Kinsler vs. No. 7 Jurickson Profar: Winner – Ian Kinsler

No surprises again in this matchup. Both players had comparable stats in their time in Spokane, but there is a disparity in what they have done in their time since.

Kinsler proved himself to be the proven commodity. The former Indians shortstop is a three-time All-Star and the current leader in this season’s All-Star voting for American League second baseman (ahead of Seattle’s $200-million man Robinson Cano). He also was a major cog in the Texas Rangers machine that won back-to-back AL pennants in 2010 and 2011.

While Kinsler did beat Profar by a whopping 44 percent (77.1 percent to 22.9), there is a very valid reason the Curacao native was selected to make the final eight. Profar was only 17 years old when he spent the summer at Avista Stadium, now he isn’t that much older and showed enough potential and upside that the Rangers felt comfortable letting Kinsler go via trade. If SWX and the Indians decide to collaborate on another poll in the future, it might well be that Profar is the one advancing over Kinsler.

No. 3 Carlos Beltran vs. No. 6 Royce Bolinger: Winner – Carlos Beltran

No one but the 21 percent who voted for Royce Bolinger to beat Carlos Beltran are surprised, and even that 21 percent probably isn’t shocked that Beltran won handily (taking 79 percent of the votes).

To his credit, Bolinger is having a great season in the Rangers’ high-A team in Myrtle Beach. But beating a player like Beltran just wasn’t in the cards for the former Gonzaga Bulldog.

Beltran is an eight-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glove winner and two-time Silver Slugger who would make a run at being one of the best players still playing in the big leagues. Soon after the current New York Yankee left Spokane he was named the American League Rookie of the Year and went on to sign a mega-contract with the New York Mets. It’s easy to see him making the final two, let alone the semi-finals in our poll.

No. 4 Ron Cey vs. No. 5 Tommy Lasorda: Winner – Ron Cey

Who would have thought that the closest result in our search to find the greatest Spokane Indian of all time would be in the pairing between a former manager and player that were together in Spokane and then in the big leagues with the Dodgers? Ron Cey edged out his former skipper by just under 14-percent (56.6 percent to 43.4).

The fact that Cey donned an Indians uniform on the field and Lasorda wore one in the dugout ultimately might have been one of the deciding factors that kept a Hall of Famer and baseball icon like Lasorda from advancing. The Penguin also being a former WSU Cougar might have played a role as well. Both men compiled impressive numbers in Spokane and in the major leagues, which makes seeing Lasorda left out that much harder. In the end the Tacoma native had enough pull to win. If this were a L.A.-based voting pool, the result probably would have been different.

Make sure you come back on Tuesday, June 3, to vote for your favorite player in the final four! Polls for the semifinal will close Sunday, June 8, at midnight (11:59:59 p.m. PDT).

  • Pro

    • Indians get first home win of 2nd half, beating AquaSox 5-3

      Spokane right-hander Tyree Thompson (2-1) picked up a quality start and the win after allowing two runs on eight hits over six innings, leading the Spokane Indians to a 5-3 win over the Everett AquaSox on Wednesday.

    • Indians' Ragans & Ratliff named to NWL All-Star team

      The Northwest League announced its roster for the 2017 Northwest League/Pioneer League All-Star Game and two Spokane Indians - Cole Ragans and Tyler Ratliff - made the team.

    • Mariners drop series finale to Red Sox, 4-0

      The Seattle Mariners drop their series finale against the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday, losing 4-0. The Mariners will begin a three-game series against the New York Mets on Friday.

    • Indians fail to complete comeback, fall to AquaSox 10-9

      Spokane got contributions throughout its order, as five players had at least two hits. Whatley homered and singled, driving in three runs and scoring a pair. The Indians also recorded a season-high 16 base hits.

    • United States prepares for Jamaica in Gold Cup final

      The United States has posted a 14-2-8 record against Jamaica, with their most recent victory coming in February of 2017 in an international friendly.

    • Hydroplanes in the NBC Right Now parking lot!

      Watch the clips above to check out our various guests we spoke with - as well as some hydroplanes - leading up to the Hapo Columbia Cup & Over The River Air Show!
    • Spokane Starts 2nd Half With 13-1 Win At Hillsboro

      Clayton Middleton hit a two-run triple in the third inning, leading the Spokane Indians to a 13-1 win over the Hillsboro Hops on Monday.

    • Paxton Dominant in Seattle's 4-0 Win Over Boston

      James Paxton allowed four singles over seven innings to win his fifth consecutive start in July and Kyle Seager homered to pace the Seattle Mariners to a 4-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Monday night. Paxton (10-3) retired the first 13 hitters before Jackie Bradley Jr.'s single to center with one out in the fifth.

    • State Amateur Championships Extra Special to Winners This Year

      It was a blistering weekend over at Laurel Golf Club for the 100th Montana State Women's Amateur Golf Tournament, but both on the thermometer, as well as the scorecards.

    • Mustangs Prevent Sweep with Win Over Rockies

      The Billings Mustangs (16-17) snapped their three-game losing streak with a 4-2 win over the Grand Junction Rockies (17-16).